There was a time when David was on the run for his life from King Saul. David was hiding in the desert of Paran. There was a rich man in Carmel. Let’s ponder over an incident that took place between David and the rich man.
- Nabal: The meaning of this name is foolish and senseless. Nabal was a surly and mean man. Being a rich man he had plenty of sheep and rams. It was time for sheep shearing which was a festival time for people at Carmel. When David was at Carmel with his men, Nabal was also there with his folk and men for sheep shearing. David and his men protected Nabal and his sheep like a wall from against wild animals and any other predators. Since it was the festive season, David sent ten young men from his group to Nabal seeking help. This is what Nabal replied to his men, 1 Samuel 25:10-11, 10 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. 11 Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?” This angered David and he decided to destroy everything that Nabal owned and kill all menfolk of his household.
2. Abigail: The meaning of Abigail is “cause of joy” or “father’s joy” in Hebrew. She was Nabal’s wife. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman. After David’s men went back to their master one of Nabal’s servants went to Abigail and told her the whole truth. Hearing the whole truth from her servant she acted with wisdom. 1 Samuel 25:18-19, 18 Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. David was impressed by her intelligence and also blessed her. After ten days, the Lord struck Nabal and he died. David accepted Abigail as his wife and married her.
3. Ananias and Sapphira: In Acts of Apostles chapter 5, we read about a couple Ananias and Sapphira. At that time all the believers were sharing their property with the apostles keeping one for themselves. Ananias too had sold a property too. With the full knowledge of his wife, he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Apostle Peter saw the evil act and questioned his actions. Both husband and wife died one after the other with a difference of three hours.
4. Ahab and Jezebel: There once lived a man named Naboth. Naboth had a vineyard that was handed down by his ancestors. The vineyard was in Jezreel, close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. Ahab was a selfish king who always got what he wanted. He set his eyes on Naboth’s vineyard and wanted to use it as a vegetable garden. Naboth refused to part with his ancestral vineyard. This refusal was not taken well by Ahab. He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat. Seeing him sullen, his wife Jezebel asked the reason. He told her all that happened. She was a shrewd lady. Using Ahab’s seal she sent letters to elders. She tricked Naboth and had him killed by the elders claiming that he had cursed the king and God. Then Ahab took possession of his vineyard. Seeing their wickedness, God sent the prophet Elijah to prophecy their death to them. 1 Kings 21: 17-26,17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 18 “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. 19 Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’”
20 Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!”
“I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. 21 He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. 22 I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.’
23 “And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’
24 “Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country.”
25 (There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.)
We can all learn lessons from the above-given examples. There are always two ways open before us. What is it to me and ignore it? It is my responsibility and I need to save my family by doing right. In Abigail, we see a woman who is not only wise but also god-fearing. Without the knowledge of her husband, she was able to protect and look after the well-being of the whole household. Today we only fret and worry about what will happen to our families. Wisdom has been replaced by selfishness and world pleasures. the virtues of sacrifice and tolerance have been long lost among families. The younger generation grows up seeing this and repeats the same mistakes. In many families, women have seeds of Sapphira and Jezebel. Each woman should ponder and reflect on the above-given example and then think to act wisely or on world terms. If Jezebel and Sapphira are like curses to family, Abigail is a blessing. Compare the women and make your own decision.